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Lessons Learned from Covid-19: Research with Dubai Police

January 17, 2021

Dr. Athol Yates, Assistant Professor in Institute of International and Civil Security at Khalifa University, has been investigating Dubai Police’s contribution to containing the Covid-19 outbreak in Naif district, Dubai.


“With Captain Muhammad Almheiri and Jasim Al Shimmari from Dubai Police’s Future Foresight and Decision Making Support Centre, we’ve been looking at how Dubai Police has contributed to mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic from January to October 2020,” said Dr. Yates. “We’re hoping this research will allow lessons and good practice to be identified, which may help the Dubai Police and other UAE government agencies to better prepare for future human, animal and plant infectious outbreaks.”

The research was mainly conducted by the Centre under the administration and guidance of Brigadier Dr. Abdulla bin Sultan, with follow up from Director of Decision Making Support Manal Al Qassimi. It was facilitated and coordinated by Captain Muhammad Almheiri, and Jasim Al Shimmari, a graduate of Khalifa University’s Masters of Art in International and Civil Security. The study was also supported by the director in charge of the Naif Police Station,  Colonel Abdulla Juma Ibrahim Abdulla, and the director in charge of Hatta Police Station, Colonel Mubarak Al Ketbi.

Data collection involved interviews with police personnel and volunteers at two sites—Naif and Hatta. These sites were chosen to provide an understanding of Dubai Police’s work in two radically different environments – a densely populated city area and a low density rural location.

“This research is in line with developing our strategic industrial partnerships with governmental entities in the UAE,” explained Captain Almheiri. “This comparative research features our organizational success in handling the crisis and will help us build a future-oriented responsive and anticipatory police force. It will also integrate and foster future driven studies between police organisations and academic national institutions like KU within a national framework of collaborative strategic research and development.”  He added that “The research is a forward looking perspectives in policing and handling crisis, preparedness, and resilience to uncertain circumstances”

Interviews complete, the team will now draft papers from this research; including one for the internal use of Dubai Police outlining the contribution, lessons learned and recommendations for Dubai Police when the country faces other unexpected threats or hazards, and another to be published in policing journals. For the Center for Future Foresight and Decision Support, this research will help identify best practice for future situations and better identify how policing could be affected. Similarly, for Dubai Police, this work will raise awareness of the contribution the police force had on mitigating the pandemic and the importance of coordination with other government and non-government agencies. 

Most importantly, improved knowledge of how policing can contribute to the nation being better prepared for, prevent, respond to, and recover from pandemics will be vital for the UAE in facing future similar situations.


Jade Sterling
Science Writer
17 January 2021

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